Notice the Shift
Ally Vertigan
September 26, 2023

When you pray, what do you notice in your spirit?

Maybe you perceive God’s love seeping into your bones like rain in a parched desert. Or you feel complete, like finding the last piece of a puzzle’s border. Perhaps you feel your spirit move like the wind tickling a windchime ... delighting in small joys.

If you’re like me and wish you prayed more often, what do you long for when you think about praying?

Maybe you hope to feel tucked in, comforted under a warm blanket. I wonder if you long for stillness, like the glassy water of a lake at dawn. Maybe you long for abundance, like a juicy summer tomato: ready to burst open with bounty.

Beautifully, this spiritual shift through prayer happens differently for each of us. Consider this from the Psalmist:

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
Psalm 118:5

The Psalmist is distressed and downtrodden, perhaps feeling anxiety or pain. Maybe their anguish has been compounding, or maybe their sorrow is fresh. God responds to their prayer with expansiveness: setting them in a broad place, a place of possibility. This person – the real, live human – who wrote these very words feels different after turning to God in prayer.

Today’s invitation is simple: start noticing what shifts in you through prayer.

Take a moment to ask yourself, “How does my spirit feel? What does it need?” Then, pray … offer God gratitude, tell God what’s on your mind, share with God how you might hope to be changed, listen into some silence. (I promise there is no wrong way to do this!) After prayer, take another moment to notice how your spirit feels.

If you’re like me, it might take some time to notice anything shifting at all! I encourage you to keep paying attention and talking about it. Consider telling your Deacon or partnering with another church member to reflect together. Maybe you can try this with young ones in your life or with a spouse. Journal privately or start a new Note on your phone. Today’s invitation is to start noticing.

Holy one, Source of abundant life, fill us with your spirit of freedom. Help us notice the spaciousness around us and fill it with your mercy. Mold us into deeper vessels for your spirit. Amen.